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On Top of the Mountain

Posted by Oct 31, 2016
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     Processing information shared by fellow Canvas champions can best be done by riding a ski lift to the top of mountain.



     North Carolina is a fantastic state! It is where I was born, grew up, and am now raising my kids. However, up until InstructureCon 2016, the farthest west I've been was Memphis, Tennessee. The Blue Ridge Mountains have always been a wonderful place to relax and renew and hold some of my best memories. Coming to Colorado, I was mentally prepared, at least I thought. I was ready for great sessions and beautiful mountains. Boy did I underestimate both.


     Sitting in a sessions about the new quiz feature and badging lit the spark about work that still needs to be done back in NC. Following that was an amazing session about using Google App Scripts to make Canvas API calls. Next was a microphone-drop keynote shared by Angela Maiers. I found myself itching to get back home so I could get busy doing some real work. Knowing that I had just been flooded with fantastic information, fleshing out these great ideas would not be easy. There had to be some reflection and processing to make this a reality.That's where the bag lunch came in.


     It was lunch time. Sitting there on the table was a bag lunch. Easy to transport, I grabbed the bag and was off. Someone earlier had mentioned that the ski lift was open and I plenty of time before the next session. During the almost 10 minute ride to the top, I was taken back by the spectacular views only to arrive at the top where it was more than serene. I found a patch of grass, ate my prepared meal, watched boats sail on the lake below, enjoyed the birds soaring through the air, and sat in awe at the mountain view, inspired by their size. How does education and API calls fit into that? This bigger world that we live in is more than me sitting at my desk and getting a script to automate or connecting to another country via Skype. This is real. People need inspiration and greatness. People need to feel on top of the world to realize just how small we are. Education includes that enjoyment and a sense of awe.


     In a huge way, educators alike are using technology to help inspire. Not everyone can climb that mountain, appreciate the grandeur of the Rockies, or sit still long enough to feel the peace in the middle of a busy day. Educators bring people there. It's simple, but real. Leading a training gives fresh air to teachers who get stuck in the thick as I have done so many times in the past. What we do makes a difference. Helping to bring better quizzing, more functionality, more imaginations and inspiration will be the difference maker. The bigger picture is gradually brought to those who haven't sen the vision or experienced the joy of learning. That is why reflecting for me is best done on top of the mountain.




     Wherever InstructureCon 2017 is, if a bagged lunch is provided, grab the lunch, grab a friend or two, and get outdoors to talk and think about the bigger pictures, preferably on top of the mountain.



These are a few thoughts I had about InstructureCon. Overall we had a great time and really enjoyed the meetings and events. The theme was very creative and was carried out very well. We also really enjoyed the location.


  • Consider charging a lower price for guest tickets or include swag for guests
  • Consider charging a lower price for a guest ticket for kids (who will not use the drink tickets and who tend to eat less)
  • Provide presenters with hotspots for internet access (in one of the first sessions I went to the presenter couldn't demonstrate what they were speaking on because of incredibly slow internet)
  • Better internet access in breakouts for participants (if possible)
  • Allow guests to be added under an attendee's email address/instructurecon account or do not give out email addresses of guests to vendors (I bought guest tickets for my kids and had to input a separate email for them. I am now getting emails from vendors on that personal email account.)


  Thanks for a great conference overall. Looking forward to next year!

Just talked to my CSM and was able to get in the Beta group to try out the Canvas and MS Office 365 option that was demonstrated during the Canvas "hearts" Microsoft Office 365. I have gone back and watched the video which was obviously taped during the second session and will probably watch it again because there is so much to learn. We are a big user of Microsoft products in my school district so this is a gigantic step forward for us. Woo Hoo!!!

Sean Nufer

Design Thinking

Posted by Sean Nufer Champion Aug 12, 2016
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I attended Robin Bartoletti's Design Thinking for Learning Design in Canvas Courses session and have a few thoughts to share. 



I hope you don't mind these late blogs.  It takes me a while to review my notes, and this platform is a good way for me to collect my thoughts.    I attended this session not knowing what Design Thinking was, other than it being a very awesome way to describe something.  The main example that was shared about what Design Thinking is and how it impacts us was the Tesla automobile designs, which factored in not only the engineering and mechanical layouts, but more importantly the people that would use them.  It's almost as if car designers typically start with the engine, frame, wheels, and then retrofit a person.  The Tesla model, as described, essentially starts with a person and builds a car around him/her. 


This actually resonated quite a bit with me as I studies something called Human Factors Psychology (see:  The origin of this field actually emerged post WWII, as aviation became increasingly more technical and complicated.  Eventually we branched out aviation to include aerospace and commercial endeavors, and we saw increases in accidents related to human error. 


A tipping point leading to Human Factors being an important crossover between psychology and engineering was when airplane cockpits began to be digitalized instead of using analog dials.  The digital readouts were introduced and we were seeing drastic increases in people misreading the gauges and crashing.  Psychologists conducted interviews and research, and it turned out that the culprit was essentially the disconnect between people and the machines.  When dials were analog, the pilots would run their checks and adjust the dials.  When a setting was correct they would turn the dial so that the indicator was pointed straight up.  When everything checked out, all the dials on the cockpit would point up.  If something was amiss, they would notice it right away because one of the dials would no longer be pointed up and they could attend to that issue.


But if everything is digital then you have a myriad of different readouts.  These numbers might not mean anything to you: 35, 188, 4.3, 124...  Even if that 4.3 should really be 7.3, it would be hard to make out in the sea of numbers and displays.  However, which one of these lines catches your attention?   |   |   |   /  |   They're all pointing up except one.  So lets look at what's going on with that one - and maybe in the process we'll not crash the plane. 


So after the aeronautic overhaul designed to increase the efficiency of airplanes, the industry had to do another overhaul simply because they left the humans behind in the process.  A machine or system might work perfectly from an engineering or design process, but when a human interacts with it, it might not function.  A gas stove might function perfectly from an engineering standpoint, but if the dials are in the very back and a person with long dangly sleeves has to use the stove then they might catch a sleeve on fire.  The engineer will say that the machine works fine, but the consumer will point to the charred arms and disagree. 


Of course even though Robin used Tesla as an example, the real application for us it to thinking about learning design and pedagogy from the human standpoint.  Keep the learner in mind from the beginning and remember that a prospectus or curriculum alignment document might look fine and beautiful on paper, but that we have real humans who interact with our curriculum.



I like what Robin mentioned: "Design Thinking has many designs and processes.  Pick one that works for you."



Sean Nufer

Testing out Office Mix

Posted by Sean Nufer Champion Aug 10, 2016
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One of the things I learned about at InstructureCon that most excited me was Office Mix.  I finally got a chance to play around with the platform and want to share what I learned regarding uploading a Mix to Canvas.



Office Mix is a PowerPoint plugin that allows users to more fully engage their audience by adding interactive and multimedia elements, and then hosting the Mix on a server.  In full disclosure, Mix is a free add-on, but we also pay for the professional Microsoft license for O365 and such.


In order to test the integration, I created a basic interactive PowerPoint and then hosted it both on Mix servers as well as my professional OneDrive.  The presentation included a few interactive/hyperlinked buttons and resembled a kiosk (as opposed to a presentation show).


I then tried three approached to integrating this onto a dummy Canvas content page.  I utilized the Office Mix LTI tool, the Office Mix embed code, and the OneDrive embed code.  The result is that all three of these methods worked, but each one was different than the other two.




For the first option, I integrated the Mix using the LTI tool.  It was pretty straightforward.  After you add the LTI tool in the App Center then the content page shows a Mix icon in the RTE.


When you click on that you will have the option to paste in the URL of a public Mix or you can select a Mix from your own creations.

LTI select.png

The result is a hyperlink created on the Canvas page that when clicked will open up a new page where students can see the Mix.

Advantage to the LTI tool

This is incredibly simple and intuitive and is very easy for professors to learn

Disadvantage to the LTI tool

It doesn't embed on the page and requires an extra mouse click for students.  If there is more content on the page then clicking the link will navigate the students to another page.


The second option I tried was to open my My Mixes on the Mix webpage (  Select the mix you want to use and then click Share and copy the provided embed code.

Mix embed.png

This of course gets pasted into the html editor of the Canvas content page.  The result is a nicely embedded Mix presentation with limited navigation, including Previous and Next navigation buttons, a ToC, and option for fullscreen viewing.

Advantage to using Mix embed code

It embeds very cleanly and the user can interact with the Mix while still benefiting from additional instruction/content on the content page.

Disadvantage to using Mix embed code

It does require a miniscule amount of technical ken, including the knowledge of what embed code is, how to access the html editor, and how to read the code well enough to be able to place the embed code in the right place.  It's more work for the professor, but results in a much better experience for the student.


The last option I tried was to put the pptx file on my OneDrive and used the embed code.  It's a very similar process.  I navigated to the folder and file that I wanted:

OneDrive folder.png


OneDrive file.png

OneDrive embed.png

The OneDrive embed code provides much more robust options in the player.  I don't find these options to be of any particular benefit to the student though.

OneDrive options.png

The Embed Information option is nice in that you can embed the Mix on other locations, such as blogs or websites.  However, I really don't know when a student would need to do that.

Advantage to using OneDrive embed code

Like the Mix embed code, it embeds very cleanly and the user can interact with the Mix while still benefiting from additional instruction/content on the content page.

Disadvantage to using OneDrive embed code

It takes a few more clicks to get to the embed code than using the Mix page.  But if the people at your institution are heavy OneDrive users, this might not be a problem.  I don't like the clutter of the player and prefer the Mix player instead.  No need to have options for "terms of use" and "privacy and cookies".  It's just clutter.



What Microsoft is developing in terms of integrating platforms into Canvas is kumbay-mazing! Next week I am going to beginning training my IDs about Mix and Sway.  It won't exactly be a game changer, as we already use prezi, Storyline, iSpring, and others.  But it is a never arrow to put in our ID toolbox quiver.  Great stuff. 



This really is not related to InstructureCon, but it is worth sharing with my Canvas friends.  As it worked out, between the strange shuttle scheduling and mechanical delays, I waited for 5 hours at my gate as I returned home from Keystone.  I definitely had work to do, so I actually didn't mind the legroom as I waited to board.  I really got to know Terminal B and gate 26.


Incidentally, I had a layover this last week in Denver and I walked right past my InstructureCon gate.  I snapped the above photo and sent it to my wife.  It actually was fun to walk by, as when I initially camped out at that gate I was still in my euphoric post-InstructureCon trance.  We thought it was a funny coincidence.


Fast forward a few days and I was on my way home.  I again passed through Denver, but this time it wasn't just a stroll through the airport.  I actually had a legitimate 5 hour layover.  So I planted myself squarely in gate B25, right next to my InstructureCon gate, and waited for my flight. 


I have never paid much attention to the Denver airport other than I try to admire the interesting spiky tent (which I learned from my shuttle driver represents the main peaks of the Colorado Rockies).  I think forever now I will think of InstructureCon when I pass through Terminal B. 


Okay, back to work.

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Wow is all I can say!!! We are just rolling out Canvas this school year. We have been using Microsoft Office 365 for the past 2+ years. We have been debating whether to wait with Canvas and see what OneNote Class Notebook has to offer. Or just go with Canvas and then decide next year what to do. After I attended the Canvas "heart" Microsoft Office 365 presented by Jim Federico, I realized that in the next year or so, our district will be able to have the best of both worlds. I couldn't wait to get back to work to share this information with my colleagues. This was my first Instructurecon, but even if I have to fork out the money myself next year, I will be attending. I learned so much. Thanks!!!



Sean Nufer

3rd Party Tools

Posted by Sean Nufer Champion Aug 4, 2016
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There are some pretty interesting third party tools that we can use in Canvas to dress up our courses.



I attended the pre-conference Glamping Up Canvas session. We covered some pretty fun stuff.  Much of it was sort of beginner (i.e. don't be afraid of the html editor), but there was also a mix of more detailed interactions that we can incorporate.  Some things you might consider trying:



This source allows designers to create interactive content and embed it right in Canvas.  The interaction we saw was: Timeline | H5P.  There are options to create drag and drops and various gamefication projects.  It is definitely worth exploring.



Microsoft released a product called Sway.  Sway is a fascinating platform that lets you import documents, powerpoints, PDFs, etc. and incorporate web content to create interactive multimedia reports.  You can convert websites, such as wikipedia entries, into interactive html5 presentations.  And there is a full accessibility view.


Office Mix

Another product of Microsoft, Mix is a PowerPoint plugin that can help you make your presentation interactive or convert it to multimedia.  It can be stored on your Mix cloud or OneDrive (if you have Office for Business).  And the good news is that there is a fully functioning LTI tool that integrates right in Canvas. 



If you are interested in a simple iteration of Pinterest without the distracting bells and whistles, the padlet allows you to create essentially a virtual bulletin board where you can post pictures and notes.  You can embed it in a Canvas content page and even have your class interact and contribute.  Here is the board I created during the session: My stellar padlet



This is definitely not even close to a fully comprehensive list of third party tools (I mean, just look through the app center), but these were ones I had not heard of until InstructureCon and they might be worth exploring. 



Sean Nufer

Thoughts on badging

Posted by Sean Nufer Champion Aug 4, 2016
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Give badging a try



I attended Michelle Lattke's Earn Your Merit Badge session and had some good chats with the Badgr vendors while at InstructureCon.  Michelle is in K-12 while I am in HE, yet I still felt like I came away from the session with some interesting ideas and thoughts regarding badging.  As a precursor, I'll mention that if we establish some sort of badging system, we will call it microcredentialing and focus on the professional development aspects.  Each culture is different, and from what I have gathered in the discussions with my faculty and leadership, the concept of badging seems infantile to our cerebral and distinguished professors. 


There are many options for platforms, such as Mozilla backpack, Canvasbadges, Badgr, Credly, etc.  They all have benefits and drawbacks, and really there is no one-size-fits all at this point.  You just need to evaluate the needs and expectations of your institution and find the best solution.  (Boo! right? Just tell me which one to use!)


Badges are a good way to demonstrate achievement based on evidence.  Don't use badges as a motivational tool.  It may motivate some people, but largely it is recognition for achieving a set of defined outcomes.  There are a few approaches you can use:


Independent badge: Do action X and receive a badge

Dependent badges: Do action X and then action Y and you will receive a badge

Leveled: As you complete tasks, you graduate from the bronze level badge to the silver and gold level badges.


The Canvas community functions in some of these ways.  We earn points for participating in the community.  Sometimes in addition to points we meet certain criteria and get a badge.  And we have our rankings where we can know how we stand against other community members.  As of this writing we have three level 6 community members:




The leaderboards can provide both a sense of accomplishment as well as a spirit of competition (what tricks does Kona have to take back the lead from Stefanie?).  Ideally the badges should be meaningful and fun.  You may even consider acquiring physical badges, such as laptop stickers. 



It seems like badging platforms have become simple to use and administer, and there are many options available to integrate into Canvas or export to LinkedIn.  It is definitely an option worth exploring. 



For our InstructureCon presentation we created a 7 minute video to highlight the day in the life of a student and teacher using Canvas Mobile. We have received a lot of feedback, and people have asked us how it was created. Below is the story.


Phase 1: Script (10 hours)

Luke Bennett and I reviewed our previous Canvas mobile surveys to find the features that were most popular by teachers and students. This combined with interviews and real-world use helped us identify a storyboard and ultimately a script.



Phase 2: Audio Recording (3 hours)

We recruited two UCF faculty members, Dr. Tommi Barrett-Greenly and Rick Brunson to do the voices. They were recorded using Logic Pro in our department's audio booth.

Tommi - StudentProfessor Brunson - Teacher


Phase 3: Video Production (5 hours)

This was tricky. We tried many different tools, but ultimate went with the following. Using a wired set up proved to be more reliable and created better quality. This video had no live action, and simply captured the screens of an iPhone 6S Plus and Android 6P.



For Android, we used Android Tool for Mac. This open source utility can also recored iOS video, but we only used it for Android.


Note, you need to first activate USB Debugging:



For iOS, we simply used the screen recording feature through QuickTime. This requires iOS 8+ and OS X 10.10+

How to Record iPhone Screen with Mac OS X and QuickTime


All video was recorded in 1080p.


Phase 4: Post Production (10-15 hours)

Everything was edited together in Final Cut Pro X. My dirty secret is I actually have a bachelor's degree in Radio/Television and did video production for 6 years. I had to shake the rust off, but finally figured it out. Everything was recorded an exported in 1080p.


A few other things...

  • We first tried to do everything with Reflector, but we ran into many issues and a wired solution was much more reliable.
  • At first, I tried to get the time to be accurate to each scene, but this proved to be too difficult
    • You will notice in one scene that the student is reading messages from "tomorrow". Time machine stuff.
  • When using the QuickTime method for capturing iOS, the time is always 9:42. It never changes.
  • The video was recorded without a device frame and this was added later:
  • We used Vimeo to host the video because it's much better at handling large HD videos.
  • We used a beta version of Canvas for iOS because it had a fix for the Pages styling issue. Thanks Benjamin Kraus
  • We previewed the video to a select few for feedback, including a few community members. Thanks Biray Seitz, Kristin Lundstrum, and Sandesh Tuladhar for the feedback.


I welcome any questions. Thanks!


The final product is what you see below.

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I'd hoped to see a moose but I think all the buses might have scared them away.


Though I was told one had walked down the bike trail I was using, but earlier in the morning. Instead I saw beautiful running rivers (see picture in header image). Oh, I guess the signs said swift water, but to a person from a state that really has no mountains or hills this area was a new adventure. Saw what I thought was a rabbit, but was later told was probably a fox. Hey, all I saw was its side and it was very quick as it dashed back into the the tall grasses of the bike path.


The sound of thunder echoing through the mountains was something to be amazed by. I mean, I get thunder and lightning where I live but the reverb in the mountains, most excellent. There was this loud boom and then rain. Big fat, cold drops. This I don't get back at home.


I wish I could have experienced more, but when I go to a conference, I have to go to the conference. I totally believe my boss would frown upon me skipping out in the middle of the day to go paddle boating or kayaking. Maybe next year I will come in early to experience more of the mountains or even just see the city of Denver.


Plus, a moose owes me a picture. Though I did come home with a picture of a panda on a bicycle



The InstructureCon 2016 conference was like most, filled with lots of great information, people, and an energy that isn’t typical of an EdTech conference. From the annual Josh Coates mental warm ups to hoedowns, the conference brought a lot of promise and optimism.


Many of you that know me personally and professionally know that I am very passionate about mobile learning and technologies in education. This is no different at InstructureCon. I spend the majority of my time presenting, meeting, and discussing mobile. I thought I’d share a recap of my mobile impressions of the conference.


You get an app, you get an app..


The Canvas Mobile Product Manager, Peyton Craighill, asked the following question in the annual Mobile SOTU (video link):

It appears the answer is through role-based apps. During the conference, they gave a small sneak peek of the Parent, Teacher, and Student apps on the mobile roadmap. The discussion of these apps focused on the following user needs. 

Mobile isn’t just for students anymore

The “main” Canvas app has always been a pain point for teachers. The app is essentially a student app that has a few, but powerful, features to help facilitate a class on-the-go, but in this mobile world, teachers deserve more. In an effort to make this experience better they announced the future release of the Canvas Teacher app in 2017.

In my discussions with Peyton over the last few months, he has made it clear that it’s a priority to identify the biggest pain points for teachers and make them available on mobile. This is basically focused around eliminating the most common tasks that require a computer. While previewing the Teacher app, I thought it was a good beginning, but there is a long way to go. I look forward in joining others in beta testing and shaping the future of the app. 


Hey Kid! Where’s Your Parents?

In the 2015 InstructureCon there was a discussion about a future app that would make it easier for parents of K-12 to observe their children. In 2016, this is close to being a reality. This app has been the mobile team’s priority for the majority of the year. Being part of Higher Education, my excitement for this app is muted because of the limited use at our school. This is why I was very excited to see Beth Ritter-Guth work with Brandon Pluim on hack night to conceptualize the an Advisor aspect to the app. There are still many hoops and considerations, but I’m glad to see the potential. The beta for Parent app should be out soon with a dedicated focus group in the Canvas Community. If interested, I suggest you join!


Students are still students

The main Canvas Mobile app got very little attention during the conference. Total downloads are nearly 6 million, with 1 million active daily users. There was a brief mention of aligning features better with 1:1 schools which would have benefits to all users. While focusing on the Parent and now Teacher app, this app has been put on autopilot. The Canvas Mobile team is very small in comparison to the web team with 18 dedicated employees and 10 full time mobile engineers, so they need to consider their resources.


What about SpeedGrader?

There was no updates or mention of SpeedGrader at any sessions, but there is a new annotations feature in the works. This was previewed at InstructureCon 2015, but hit some snags. I was able to see a brief preview at the conference of what’s to come and it will be a great addition for tablets. As for SpeedGrader on the iPhone, this isn’t currently happening, yet. There was a rumor going around the conference that SpeedGrader would be removed from their app offerings, but I can tell you that’s absolutely false. There is a possibility that it will be rolled into the teacher app once completed.


Polls, Magic Marker, Teacher Tools?

I had some candid discussions about the future of Polls. Everything was mentioned from pulling the app to the desire to make it more useful. Currently it’s not on the roadmap. Magic Marker continues to have a niche market in K-12 and Teacher Tools is still a pet project.


It’s time for a quiz!

Especially for 1:1 schools the support for all questions types in quizzes is vital. In talking to the mobile team, the next generation of quizzes will be responsive to work through the mobile web and native apps. This should make all question types available, regardless of platform.


More things to come..

I only have limited knowledge, but here are a few items in the works:

  • Theme editor for native app. This will give schools the ability to brand the app.
  • More Canvas Data for native apps.
  • Continued work on styling for pages in the Canvas apps, including custom CSS.


What I’d like to see.

The biggest issue with the Canvas by Instructure app is App parity. Functionality of mobile apps across platforms are going to be different. This is why I use an iPhone, but you might use an Android. With that, the features shouldn’t change. This is a fact I highlight in the Canvas Mobile Day in the Life video. I have seen countless mobile idea request that simply are parity issues and closing the gap on this would make it easier to use and support.


The discussions, assignments and inbox for iOS are in need of an update. Since I began testing the apps in late 2012, these features are basically the same. In a discussion with a mobile engineer, they agreed and said that discussions would get the first refactoring. Also, since the Teacher app will include an inbox, this should help make the Student app better.


In talking with others at the conference, the biggest request by students is What If Grades on iOS. There was some discussion that multiple grading periods could put a pause on this, but I’d suggest you take a look at the following idea -


From a teacher and admin perspective, there was a lot of buzz about adding more information in the student activity about the native app. Teachers and support staff still see the mobile app as sort of a black hole while tracking usage on the web. Canvas Data has made it easier to track this, but not everyone has this and the setup can be tedious.


Looking Forward

There is a lot to look forward to before InstructureCon 2017. Hopefully next year the role based apps will be available and make the mobile experience mobile inclusive for all roles (How about an Admin app?). The buzz around mobile is greater than it has been in past. This stems from a vibrant community and an open and responsive mobile team.


Get involved


If you are interested in Canvas Mobile, I invite you to join the Canvas Mobile Users Group (CMUG). I spent a good portion of the conference collaborating with Kristin Lundstrum on how to make the community better for users of Canvas Mobile apps. This included a meeting with Rob Ditto, Mark Lennox, and the mobile team to discuss our ideas. They were responsive and open to being more active in the community to share ideas, content, and provide beta app opportunities. Over the next few weeks we hope to formalize these changes and invite everyone to participate in this group.


Want even more mobile?

If so, check out the following presentations and recaps from InstructureCon 2016.

Mobile State of the Union

Mobile State of the Union - Recap


It’s a Mobile World, Join Us!

Highlights from It’s a Mobile World, Join Us!

Take aways from It's a Mobile World


Designing a Mobile Ready Course with UD

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Both Marc Prensky and Angela Maiers spoke about the need for educators to allow students to solve real-world problems. Just in case anyone has not read M. David Merrill's First Principles of Instruction (about focusing instruction on real world problems), see:


Merrill's is a very simple framework for effective instruction:

The areas of Integration and Application usually do not appear in lesson plans according to this Cengage article: What Activities Work to Achieve Learning? Merrill’s First Principles. In online courses, demonstration is sometimes missing.



This was an interesting presentation from Penn State about 4 different types of rubrics, since different learning situations may require different rubrics.


For example, if we are facilitating a large course and want to speed up grading, then a detailed Holistic rubric may be the best choice.


The most common type of rubric used in Canvas is the Analytic rubric. When I create these, they usually have column headings such as Exceeds, Meets and Below.


Single-point rubric is very clear for students and open-ended when grading. So, it might be a good choice if the instructor plans to write specific feedback for each student.


The Primary Trait rubric details different levels of performance and I think students would appreciate the simplicity.
However, once it is created in Canvas, it is flipped like this


Of course, we should provide students with the rubric along with the assignment and then grade with the same rubric. Other Best Practices mentioned that are worth implementing:
“Give yourself the “10%” rule the first time you use a rubric,” which means to be flexible 10% in grading when using a rubric for the first time.

“Have students contribute to rubric generation.” Obtaining student input is always worthwhile!


Penn State Resources
Dutton Faculty Development -

Schreyer Institute-


Presenter: Jason Abbitt


This session described a pilot study to research whether or not student page view data provides any insight into establishing a Community of Inquiry.


Although nothing conclusive was determined from the research, and page views can’t always be tracked via mobile, the pilot study provided ideas for further research.


  • The 34-item standard CoI survey was completed by students at midterm
  • Acronyms/codes for presences were set up as

SP=social presence

TP=teacher presence

CP=cognitive presence

  • Surveys were downloaded to an SPSS data file and Page Views downloaded from Canvas.
  • CoI-related student actions were categorized (example: Discussion Posts were categorized as SP). However, later analysis found that one instructor created discussions that were just for posting assignments instead of engaging in discussions.


I think it’s a great idea to use available data to research establishing a CoI in online courses. When I look at the Canvas default data reports, I wonder if attaching Outcomes to rubric criteria that are categorized as CoI-related will make it easier (and more accurate than page views) to collect, download, analyze and compare the data to survey responses?:


Another possibility is to somehow connect CoI tracking to LTI and use the LTI data Report. For example, the instructor interested in researching student interaction with video could use LTI for the video (Maybe the new ARC LTI!)